Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 783 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DAMASCENING, or DAMASKEENING, a term sometimes applied to the production of damask steel, but properly the art of in-crusting wire of gold (and sometimes of silver or copper) on the surface of iron, steel or bronze. The surface upon which the pattern is to be traced is finely undercut with a sharp instrument, and the gold thread by hammering is forced into and securely held by the minute furrows of the cut surface. This system of ornamentation is peculiarly Oriental, having been much practised by the early goldsmiths of Damascus, and it is still eminently characteristic of Persian metal work.

Additional information and Comments

This term is also applied to a more modern practise - the application of overlapping circular swirls to metal as a decoration - often seen on auto engines of the classic 1930's era. 'Engine-turning' is the term commonly used, and good examples of this can be seen on the aluminium engines and firewalls of Bugatti and similar automobles.
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